List of NCAA men's volleyball schools

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This is a list of colleges and universities with National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) - sanctioned men's indoor volleyball teams that compete for either the NCAA Men's National Collegiate Volleyball Championship or the NCAA Men's Division III Volleyball Championship.

Structure[edit]

The competition structure of men's volleyball is dramatically different from that of most sports sponsored by the NCAA. In most sports, teams are divided into three divisions:

  • Division I, generally consisting of large universities that devote the most resources to athletics; these schools offer substantial numbers of athletic scholarships to attract team members (with a few voluntary exceptions, most notably the Ivy League).
  • Division II, generally consisting of smaller institutions; these schools are also allowed to offer athletic scholarships, but in substantially smaller numbers.
  • Division III, generally consisting of smaller schools and a few large institutions that prefer to focus on academics; schools in this group are not allowed to offer athletic scholarships

Before the 2011–12 school year (2012 championship), men's volleyball did not have an official divisional structure; even now, that structure is truncated. The National Collegiate Championship remains as the NCAA's top-level championship, but Division III members now have their own championship, officially known as the NCAA Men's Division III Volleyball Championship.

With the introduction of an official Division III championship, schools in that division are no longer eligible for the National Collegiate Championship. The last exception, Rutgers–Newark, had been a grandfathered scholarship program in men's volleyball and could compete for the National Collegiate Championship through the 2014 edition. After that season, Rutgers–Newark completed a transition to D-III men's volleyball.

This structure differs from that of the NCAA Women's Volleyball Championship, in which separate tournaments are conducted for all three divisions, mainly because there are far more NCAA member schools offering women's volleyball than the men's game. All schools that sponsor men's volleyball and are members of either Division I or II are allowed to offer financial aid for the sport that is equivalent to a maximum of 4.5 full scholarships.

Before the creation of the NCAA Division III championship in 2012, an unofficial men's volleyball championship tournament was conducted that was open only to Division III men's volleyball programs. For sponsorship reasons, it was known as the "Molten Division III Men's Invitational Volleyball Championship Tournament (Final Four)". Though it never occurred, a NCAA Division III school could, before 2012, qualify for the at-large bid to the National Collegiate Championship. Only NCAA Division III teams from the EIVA were able to earn an automatic bid.

Historically, there have been three general regions for men's volleyball: "West", "Mid-West", and "East". The three major conferences that currently represent these regions are the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF), Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (MIVA), and Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (EIVA). The East Region is also represented by Conference Carolinas, a Division II all-sports conference that is the only all-sports league in either Division I or II to sponsor men's volleyball. It received an automatic berth in the National Collegiate Championship for the first time in 2014, when the championship expanded from four teams to six. In the 2017–18 school year (2018 season), the Big West Conference (BWC) will officially add men's volleyball as a sport, becoming the first Division I conference to do so. Half of the pre-2017 membership of the MPSF men's volleyball league, six teams, will leave the conference. However, the MPSF was left with six teams, enough to retain their automatic NCAA bid, and soon announced they would add two more teams for the 2018 season. With pre-split member California Baptist dropping the sport, the MPSF will have seven teams in the 2018 season. There will now be two conferences for the "West" that will earn a bid.

In Division III, the conference alignment radically changed with the creation of that division's NCAA championship. Before the 2012 season, the majority of the Division III schools with men's volleyball programs were members of the North East Collegiate Volleyball Association (NECVA). Other Division III schools were members of other leagues, among them the New England Collegiate Conference,[1] and the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC). Teams from the ECAC were members of the NECVA. After the NCAA announced the creation of the D-III championship, the NECVA disbanded after the 2011 season. Two all-sports conferences whose men's volleyball programs had previously formed NECVA divisions—the CUNY Athletic Conference and Great Northeast Athletic Conference—began officially sponsoring the sport. Two other D-III all sports conferences, the North Eastern Athletic Conference and Skyline Conference, also started sponsoring men's volleyball. The volleyball-only United Volleyball Conference was founded in 2010 in advance of the establishment of the NCAA D-III championship; another volleyball-only circuit, the Continental Volleyball Conference (CVC), was formed the following year. In 2014, the CVC amicably split along regional lines, with the Eastern members retaining the conference name (plus their automatic bid to the D-III championship) and the Midwestern members forming the new Midwest Collegiate Volleyball League. The Middle Atlantic Conference and Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference will begin sponsoring men's volleyball in the 2018 season.

Members of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), a separate athletics governing body whose members are primarily smaller institutions, regularly play matches against NCAA teams.

Because of the historic lack of an official divisional structure in men's volleyball, all three traditional major conferences have member schools that normally participate in NCAA Division II:

  • The 12-member MPSF men's volleyball league, otherwise made up entirely of Division I schools, has two Division II members, California Baptist and UC San Diego. UC San Diego will leave for the Big West after the 2017 season, and Concordia–Irvine will join from the independent ranks at the same time. In 2018, California Baptist will begin a transition to Division I, joining the Western Athletic Conference; the school dropped men's volleyball after the 2017 season and will replace it with women's beach volleyball at an undetermined future date.
  • The nine members of the MIVA consist of five full Division I members (including Grand Canyon University, nearing completion of a transition from Division II to Division I) and four Division II members. Grand Canyon will leave for the MPSF after the 2017 season.
  • The EIVA now consists of seven Division I members and one Division II member with the arrival of D-II Charleston (WV) for the 2016 season. Through the 2014 season, the EIVA included Rutgers–Newark, the only remaining Division III school competing for the National Collegiate Championship, until that school completed its transition to Division III men's volleyball after that season.[2]

The sizes of the conferences have fluctuated over the years as new men's volleyball programs arise and other programs are dropped from their schools. The creation of the men's Division III national championship led to several D-III schools leaving the EIVA.

Through 2013, each of the three major conferences (MPSF, MIVA and EIVA) received an automatic bid to the Final Four with one additional at-large bid. The remaining bid was an at-large bid that could be awarded to any team in Division I or II (which included Rutgers–Newark through the 2014 season). Beginning in 2014, the tournament expanded to six teams, with the top two seeds receiving byes into the Final Four and the remaining four teams playing for places in the Final Four. Conference Carolinas now receives an automatic berth in the tournament, and one extra at-large team also receives an invitation. Generally, the best teams not receiving an automatic bid (usually from one of the three major conferences) receive the at-large bids. Unless the tournament is expanded, one at-large bid will be lost when the Big West begins sponsoring men's volleyball in the 2018 season. As noted earlier, the Big West will have the required six members to earn an automatic berth, and the MPSF will retain its automatic berth since it will have five pre-split members plus two new schools.

Members[edit]

All affiliations are current for the upcoming 2018 men's volleyball season.

Division I & II[edit]

Big West Conference (Begins Spring 2018)

Conference Carolinas

Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association

Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association

Mountain Pacific Sports Federation

Independents

Division III[edit]

City University of New York Athletic Conference

Continental Volleyball Conference

Great Northeast Athletic Conference

Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference

Middle Atlantic Conference
Conference play begins in the 2018 season.

Midwest Collegiate Volleyball League

New England Collegiate Conference

North Eastern Athletic Conference

Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference
Conference play will begin in the 2018 season. The five established teams had previously played in the MCVL.

Skyline Conference

United Volleyball Conference

Independents

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Men's Volleyball". NECC website. New England Collegiate Conference. Retrieved 25 June 2010. 
  2. ^ "Transitioning Scarlet Raiders Join CVC" (Press release). Rutgers–Newark Athletics. March 13, 2014. Retrieved September 11, 2014. 

External links[edit]